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The effect of cotton-based collection methods on eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) concentrations detected in saliva

Authors Yee WT, Koh D, Wee A, Ng V, Koh YT, Sum Z, Koh G

Published 23 November 2008 Volume 2008:1 Pages 45—48

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JAA.S3563

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Teck Yee Wong, David Koh, Andrew Wee, Vivian Ng, Yong Tat Koh, Zhenjie Sum, Gerald Koh

Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Background: Salivary eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) level has the potential to be an assessment tool for asthma. Its measurement is not well-established and needs standardization. We studied how passive drool (PD) and two commercial devices, Salivette® (cotton-based device) and Sorbette® (cellulose–cotton-based-device), may affect ECP levels during collection among healthy subjects.

Methods: Study I (n = 10) involved direct sampling of healthy adult subjects with Salivette® and Sorbette®. Study II (n = 33) involved ‘indirect’ sampling of previously collected PD by both devices.

Results: In study I, ECP levels were detected in all PD samples but only in three with Sorbette® and none with Salivette® (collection order: PD, Sorbette® and Salivette®). We changed the order of collection (Salivette®, Sorbette®, PD) and the results were similar (ECP levels detected in all PD samples, three with Sorbette® and only one with Salivette®). In study II, ECP levels in saliva collected by PD was 12.8 μg/L (median) and using Sorbette® and Salivette® were < 2.0 μg/L and 3.4 μg/L respectively (p < 0.01). ECP levels in PD correlated with Sorbette® (rs = 0.79, p < 0.01) and Salivette® (rs = 0.62, p 0.01).

Conclusion: Compared to PD, saliva collected using cotton or cellulose-based collection devices resulted in lower measurable ECP levels.

Keywords: salivary ECP, collection methods

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